We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

horrific train ticket experience

Ireland
Level Contributor
317 posts
32 reviews
Save Topic
horrific train ticket experience

On our first day heading into the city from our hotel on the tram we got off at the wrong stop. After walking around a bit we found a underground station and decided to get the train to Republic Square. The lady in the ticket box did not have English but we pointed on the map where we wanted to go and she sold us 2 26 czk tickets. We validated our tickets before getting on the train. When we got off at Republic Square and were heading out of the train station a man flashed what looked like a key ring at me, I thought he was trying to sell me something so I said no and kept walking. He stopped my husband. He wanted to see our train tickets. He did not show us any form of ID other than the ‘key ring’. I was suspicious as I had read on a Prague website about a scam that involved people pretending to be ticket inspectors and demanding money saying you hadn’t validated your ticket. My husband searched frantically in his pockets for our 2 tickets and it took a min or 2 to find them. With this a policeman standing near by came over and stood in front of us also. My husband produced the ticket we had used for the tram which was 18 czk and our 2 26 czk tickets which had just used for the train. The inspector said we had to pay a fine of I think 700 czk as the 18 czk ticket did not cover the distance we travelled on the train. We explained more than once it was the 26 czk we used for train. On closer inspection he realised both tickets were validated and we were correct and we did not do anything wrong. It was so intimidating have this inspector shouting at us about the ticket and so quick to say we had to pay a fine. He was not listening to us when we were explaining why we had a 3rd ticket from our first trip on the tram. The police man standing there armed with a gun was also there to intimidate us. I thought if this is the way they treat tourist about a train ticket what way are actual criminals treated. It was completely over the top. We were tourist visiting the Czech Republic and Prague for the very first time and our first day heading into the city. The experience left a very bad taste in our mouths and took from our enjoyment in our 3 day stay. I have never visited any country or city and experienced such an ordeal over a train ticket. I understand and respect the law / customs in any country but it was the manner it was handled was horrific and upsetting. .

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
22,089 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: horrific train ticket experience

they treat everyone like that not just tourists,many a time i have seen them giving it real hard to locals.I have been stopped by them several times now on the metro and in the station (though never on a tram),I think they pick the guys and girls who have failed waiter school for being to grumpy and that takes a lot.

Brno, Czech Republic
Destination Expert
for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
Level Contributor
29,197 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: horrific train ticket experience

I am sorry to hear that. If it is any consolation they treat locals in exactly the same way, but I think the fact that you didn't stop when asked initially didn't help your case and gave rise to suspicion. Take stories about 'fake' inspectors with a big pinch of salt - they are actually few and far between and are more of an urban myth than anything else. That 'key ring' is the ID that they show and you can always ask to inspect it, but they might be miffed at such an affront to their authority :)

All police officers in the Czech Republic carry guns, and it is unlikely that he was about to use it on you - he probably saw the scene and thought 'here we go again' as many tourists fail to understand the rules.

However in your case it seems to have been a misunderstanding, and you didn't pay a fine so put it down to experience and it is something to dine out on :))

Edited: 12 May 2011, 13:50
Llandudno, United...
Destination Expert
for Prague, Llandudno
Level Contributor
11,947 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: horrific train ticket experience

<<<I think they pick the guys and girls who have failed waiter school for being to grumpy and that takes a lot.>>>>

You got it spot on Gus !

beijing
Level Contributor
9 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: horrific train ticket experience

Czech ticket inspectors target tourists because they often misunderstand how the Prague transport ticketing system works and the inspectors can pocket the fines. There are lots of ticket checks on Prague transport so you need to be alert. There are also lots of conventional pick-pockets too!!! (Ha Ha).

Brno, Czech Republic
Destination Expert
for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
Level Contributor
29,197 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: horrific train ticket experience

I think this is perpetuating the myth. They don't target tourists - everybody gets the same treatment, just look at this and the 'vox populi' underneath But even locals complain - just look at this, for example pravnik.cz/a/…jake-pravomoci-ma-revizor.html . I doubt very much whether pocketing the fines is very widespread at all - in the very rare event that you do get caught - a situation which is very easy to avoid - then you should make sure that you get a receipt, and that will ensure 100% that it doesn't go into their pocket. I must admit I have been caught on a couple of occasions and it was totally my fault - you just have to pay up.

If you have a valid ticket, there is no problem - you just show it and they go away. I think the errors that the OP made were to have put the ticket away making it difficult to find, and then showed suspicious behaviour when asked to produce a ticket.

As every regular traveller knows, once you have stamped the ticket, either keep it in your hand or in an easily accessible place for such eventualities. It just comes with experience.

I really don't know how it is possible that so many people misunderstand the system, as it is not rocket science :)

London, United...
Level Contributor
372 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: horrific train ticket experience

Been stopped a few times mainly at Florenc metro station

no way they could have known I was a tourist.

The fact that you refused to stop probably got his

suspicions up and I would have been assured rather

than intimadated if a Police officer was overseeing

the process.

If you had agreed to stop and shown just the 2 correct

26cr tickets you would have been on your way within

seconds.

Take it as a lesson learnt.

Prague, Czech...
Destination Expert
for Prague
Level Contributor
2,265 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: horrific train ticket experience

What the trainmeister said...

Ireland
Level Contributor
317 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: horrific train ticket experience

Ya I was thinking they must catch out a lot of tourists this way. It was only by chance I had spent some time reading up on a prague tourist website that I read you had to buy a ticket and also validate it. He wasn't listening to us when we tried to explain why we had the 18 czk ticket as well as the 26 czk and both used on the same day. He was very disappointed he didn't make any money out of us. We were only in Prague for 2 days and did not use the underground again. We walked everywhere and used the tram to get in and out to our hotel.

Brno, Czech Republic
Destination Expert
for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
Level Contributor
29,197 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: horrific train ticket experience

Hopefully you validated your ticket before using the tram as well :)

Prague, Czech...
Destination Expert
for Prague
Level Contributor
2,265 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: horrific train ticket experience

I guess i am always surprised when I hear the "they target tourists" complaints.Any time i am going to a foreign city where I might use the public transport I learn how it works so if I am stopped I am OK. They have inspectors in every city I have ever been to so why should there not be here?

I don't mean to be rude but here in Prague if you buy a ticket and do not stamp it and get caught you deserve a fine. The ticket is not magic, it is not valid your entire stay....